A database for everyone (comments on Sybase acquisition)
One thing I haven't seen anybody commenting on is the fact that with SAP acquiring Sybase, it will be the last major independent database company to be merged into a larger SW company. (To say this, you can qualify MySQL AB as a major database company, but disqualify, say, EnterpriseDB or InterBase, which imho is entirely reasonable.)
It used to be that only DB2 was initially developed by IBM, whereas Oracle, Sybase, Informix, InterBase and of course MySQL, where all database companies focusing on the database. Out of these, Oracle has acquired itself into a full stack player, others have been acquired into a larger portfolio, or just died out. Sybase has kind of been acquired twice now, since Microsoft SQL Server is based on an "IPR acquisition" of the Sybase code, and now then the real Sybase acquired by SAP.
So what should one think about this? It seems that the RDBMS database has grown into an integral part of your software stack, and the big software houses therefore want to control their own operating system, an app server and a database. Except that this doesn't sound right to me...
In the operating system space we have a clear trend where Linux is used by everyone, and other unixes such as by IBM or Sun, now Oracle, are more or less considered legacy. Microsoft is the only one who still manages to maintain a strong stack of its own, people who develop on Windows and .NET are kind of in their own universe and not much affected of what happens with Linux or elsewhere.
In the app server space you are not supposed to care too much about which one you use either (again, .NET being in an alternate universe).
So why isn't this the case with databases?
I don't know. My standard answer is that databases will follow the same trends towards open source, but the database market moves slower, that's all. A major ISV reported (as part of the EU hearings on the Oracle acquisition of MySQL) that of their customers, only 2% per year migrate from one database to another. That's a very stagnant industry to me.
As for me, I will continue my little part to work for a similar trend in the database layer as we already see in the operating system layer: that there will be an open source database that everyone can use and share and collaborate on, rather than everyone acquiring their own.